by request/film fatales #81: knock down the house (rachel lears, 2019)
music friday: gang of four

geezer cinema: baby driver (edgar wright, 2017)

It's nice when you watch a movie and realize the people making the movie know what they are doing. For instance, Baby Driver was nominated for three Oscars: Editing (Paul Machliss and Jonathan Amos), Sound Mixing (Tim Cavagin, Mary H. Ellis, and Julian Slater), and Sound Editing (Slater again). Once you see it, you understand why. It grabs you from the start ... here is the second scene in the movie, after which I had that "they know what they're doing" feel:

Edgar Wright doesn't use his style to beat you over the head like Michael Bay, and he doesn't use his style to make things unintelligible (like Michael Bay). He gives us a heightened reality, where everything seems to fit together. Baby (yes, that's the name of Ansel Elgort's character) is locked into the music ... he walks to its beat. Everything that happens as he walks is part of that beat. The lyrics to the song turn up in the background. The movie is so connected to its music that Baby Driver plays like a musical as much as it does an action picture.

And it delivers on the action. For that matter, it does a decent job with the romance, too. It doesn't feel like a jumble ... all of the parts fit smoothly.

The casting is on target, and the actors seem to be enjoying themselves without preening. Baby Driver couldn't be more different than our Geezer movie from last week, The Gentlemen, which is far too proud of itself (without reason). #759 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don't They list of the top 1000 films of the 21st century.


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